Best soundbar 2024 — Top TV speakers for every budget

Picking the best soundbar can solve many of your TV sound issues. Can't hear what's being said on your TV? A soundbar's dialog settings can help. Do big-budget blockbusters lack the explosive sound to match the on-screen images? A good soundbar will bring movie soundtracks to life. 

All the soundbars listed below have the kind of performance to match today's vibrant big screen images. We spend hours testing soundbars at home just as they're intended to be used and rate them on ease of setup and daily use, dialog sound quality, power output, design, and of course how well they create an immersive surround sound experience for several listeners. 

Read on to discover the right soundbar for you. And don't forget, you'll find lots more info in our in-depth standalone reviews, covering installation, customization, and performance. Just follow the link at the end of each product summary to learn more.

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Best soundbar with Dolby Atmos

Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 on wooden tabletopEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Bowers & Wilkins)
Best dedicated soundbar with Dolby Atmos

Specifications

Size: 2.6 x 47.6 x 5.5 inches
Inputs/outputs: HDMI; Digital optical; Ethernet; USB-C (service only)
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in : Yes
Audio channels: 3.1.2
Wireless: AirPlay 2; Bluetooth aptX Adaptive; Spotify Connect
Subwoofer: Integrated
Power output: 400W
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Lively, muscular and expansive movie sound
+
Properly accomplished with music
+
Useful touch controls and app

Reasons to avoid

-
Dolby Atmos effect not as pronounced as some
-
Close rivals cost less

The Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 is another single soundbar solution from a respected Hi-Fi brand. The speaker configuration integrates forward-firing left, right and center channels, while the two built-in subwoofer drivers handle cinematic low frequency rumble. There's no standalone subwoofer supplied. Dolby Atmos support is catered for using two up-firing drive units in the to bring a sense of height when streaming compatible soundtracks. 

The Panorama 3's powerful amp handles big dynamic shifts in movie soundtracks with ease and is expressive and articulate where music is concerned too. It's extremely well judged and coherent with all kinds of music and movie content, while Dolby Atmos content projects well and in all directions for an immersive listening experience. There’s real width to the soundstage the Bowers & Wilkins establishes, and there’s a proper sensation of movement as effects pan from one side of the stage to the other as soundtrack are served up with plenty of confidence and no little style. 

Read our full Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3 review

Best value soundbar with a wireless subwoofer

Yamaha YAS-209 on TV stand with screen abovebest value awards badge

(Image credit: Yamaha)
Best value soundbar with wireless subwoofer

Specifications

Size: 36.6 x 4.3 x 2.5 inches (soundbar); 36.6 x 4.3 x 2.5 inches (subwoofer)
Inputs/outputs: 1x HDMI in; 1x HDMI out; 1x Optical in
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: No
Audio channels: Not specified
Wireless: Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2
Subwoofer: Yes (wireless)
Power output (rated): 200W (soundbar) 100W (subwoofer)
Wall mountable : Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Clear and intelligible dialog
+
Excellent for music 
+
Alexa voice control
+
Comes with a wireless subwoofer

Reasons to avoid

-
Subwoofer can lack power
-
No Dolby Atmos support 
-
Only 1 HDMI input

Launched in 2019 and still going strong, the YAS-209 soundbars is aimed at delivering great features at an affordable price. This excellent package comes with a slender main soundbar partnered to a wireless subwoofer to boost low-end frequencies. 

Although primarily aimed at boosting TV sound, it doubles as a great-sounding music system and has Alexa voice assistant onboard, too. The smart and versatile combo brings movie soundtracks to life with a rich and powerful sound, and has an impressively wide soundstage when 3D Surround mode is enabled. Movie dialog is easy to understand and has excellent depth and gravitas. We just wish there was more than one HDMI port on the back, but even so, the YAS-209 has a lot to offer at the price. Bag it while you still can. 

Read our full Yamaha YAS-209 review.

Best home cinema soundbar package in a box

Samsung HW-Q990B soundbar under TVTop Pick

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best 5.1 home theater package

Specifications

Size: 48.5 x 2.7 x 5.4 inches (soundbar); 5.1 x 7.9 x 5.5 inches (surrounds); 8.7 x 16.3 x 16.1 inches (subwoofer)
Inputs/outputs: 2x HDMI in; 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC); Digital optical;
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: Yes
Audio channels: 11.1.4
Wireless: AirPlay 2; Bluetooth SBC, AAC, Spotify Connect
Subwoofer: Yes
Power output (rated): 656W
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive Dolby Atmos
+
Two HDMI inputs
+
Easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

-
Missing UI and streaming apps
-
Weak 5.1 surround
-
Troubling disconnecting issues

The Samsung HW-Q990B is the equivalent of the old home theater in a box packages. Buy one and right out of the box you have yourself an 11.1.4 surround sound system that is powerful and sleek while still being easy to set up and install. 

If you like your soundbars loud and don’t have neighbors to worry about, you’re going to love it. With a claimed 656W total power output, it’s hard not to be impressed by the output of this speaker. The Adaptive Sound uses built-in microphones to adjust the output to your surroundings, and can help boost the height speakers. In terms of clarity and depth of sound, there’s a lot to like here and delivers detailed audio and impressive Dolby Atmos sound. See where it ranks on our best Dolby Atmos soundbars page.   

It’s not quite as feature-complete as we’d like at this price point, but if you’re looking for a strong soundbar that can rattle the windows, the Samsung HW-Q990B is worth auditioning in your home theater.

Read our full Samsung HW-Q990B review.

Best soundbar for wall mounting

Devialet Dione soundbar product shot facing diagonally across the page on TG background

(Image credit: Devialet)
Best Dolby Atmos soundbar with auto placement configuration, but pricey

Specifications

Size: 3.5 x 47.2 x 6.5 inches
Inputs/outputs: 1x HDMI in; 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC); Digital optical; Ethernet
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: Yes
Audio channels: 5.1.2
Wireless: AirPlay 2; Bluetooth 5.0; Spotify Connect; UPnP
Subwoofer: Built-in
Power output: 950W
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Expansive, informative and assertive sound
+
Luxury styling and finish
+
Auto surround configuration for wall or table-top placement

Reasons to avoid

-
High price compared to rivals 
-
No HDMI passthrough
-
No remote control

If you're in the market for some high-end luxury, Devialet's Dione do-it-all TV speaker won't disappoint. The Dione is an elegant soundbar with 9x full-range aluminium speaker drivers and 8x aluminium long-throw subwoofer drivers integrated into its slender dimensions. There's no separate subwoofer. 

The Devialet Dione delivers high quality movie and music sound, and can handle Dolby Atmos content. Movie sound is dynamic and expansive, and also surprisingly nuanced to bring details to life. Width and height soundstage elements with Dolby Atmos content are deeply effective. For a soundbar that goes without the low-frequency reinforcement of a partnering subwoofer, the straightforward amount of bass the Dione is able to produce really is quite remarkable. 

A weight of 26.5 pounds (around 6 pounds heavier than the Sony HT-A7000 below), means a structural wall is essential to carry the Dione securely. It may be one of the most expensive standalone soundbars we've heard, but it balances strong networking features, has hi-res audio support, and delivers some of the best movie and music sound we've heard. This is a must-hear soundbar solution those how care as much about listening to music as they do movie soundtracks.

Read our full Devialet Dione review.

Best soundbar for Sonos ecosystems

Sonos Arc

(Image credit: Sonos Arc)
Best Sonos soundbar overall

Specifications

Size: 45 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches
Inputs/outputs: Ethernet; HDMI ARC
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in : No
Audio channels: Not specified
Wireless: Wi-Fi and AirPlay 2 capable
Subwoofer: No
Power output (rated): Not specified
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Clear vocals and focused sound
+
Strong, Sonos-quality bass
+
Alexa and Google Assistant built-in

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes up quite a bit of space on a TV stand
-
Full Dolby Atmos requires add-on surrounds

The Sonos Arc is the company's best soundbar and stands out with its gorgeous curved design, which is built to be a centerpiece of your living room as much as it’s meant to enhance your TV’s sound. Sonos doesn't mention the audio configuration, but nevertheless it doesn’t skimp on sound performance, delivering deep bass and clear treble for your favorite movies and TV shows. There are no height speakers built into the Sonos Arc to take care of Dolby Atmos content from the soundbar itself, but you can easily add a pair of Sonos Era 300 rear surrounds to get the full effect from the immersive format. 

Thanks to Sonos’ TruePlay technology, the Arc can automatically tune itself to whatever room it’s in to deliver the crispest, most accurate audio possible. It also supports voice controls via Alexa and Google Assistant, making it one of the smartest soundbars you can buy. If you have a larger entertainment area, the Sonos Arc is one of the smartest soundbars out there, and a great starting block to an immersive multiroom movie and music system. 

Read our full Sonos Arc review.

Best soundbar for home cinema and hi-res music format support

The Sony HT-A7000 is one of the best soundbars of 2022

(Image credit: Sony)
Best Sony soundbar

Specifications

Size: 51 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 5 5/8 inches
Inputs/outputs: 2x HDMI in; 1x HDMI out (eARC/ARC); Digital optical; 3.5mm analog audio jack in; USB-A; Ethernet
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: Yes
Audio channels: 7.1.2
Wireless : AirPlay 2; Bluetooth SBC, AAC, LDAC; Chromecast; Spotify Connect
Subwoofer: No
Power output: 500W
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
High build quality
+
Best for surround format support
+
Clear sound with dialog

Reasons to avoid

-
Small display
-
Subwoofer sold separately
-
High price compared to rivals

The Sony HT-A7000 is a standalone soundbar with full support for Dolby Atmos soundtracks and hi-res audio. Much like the Bowers & Wilkins Panorama 3, the Sony is an elegant TV speaker solution that uses up-firing speakers to achieve a sense of height with immersive sound formats. The only downsides are the difficult to decipher front panel display and the lack of a standalone subwoofer, which could be a downside for those seeking total cinematic satisfaction.

Nevertheless, the Sony's impressive sound as a standalone soundbar achieves a wrap-around cinematic effect, and Dolby Atmos material has a more enveloping effect thanks to the Sony's format handling. Dialog was clear during our testing and has enough weight to give booming voices gravitas to carry them with conviction. The price may be slightly higher than several standalone soundbar rivals, but the solid performance and Sony brand experience make it a worthwhile consideration.

Read our full Sony HT-A7000 review.

Best soundbar for small rooms

Polk MagniFi Mini soundbar package in black on blue background for Best Gifts for Music Lovers

(Image credit: Polk Audio)
Best small soundbar

Specifications

Size: 13.4 x 4.3 x 3.1 inches
Inputs/Outputs: HDMI, Digital Optical, Ethernet, USB
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: No
Audio Channels: 5.1
Bluetooth: Yes
Subwoofer: Yes
Power output (rated): Not specified
Wall mountable: No

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful bass and clear vocals
+
Wireless subwoofer
+
Google Cast audio integration

Reasons to avoid

-
No onscreen display or mobile app
-
High frequencies can sound harsh

No soundbar packs huge audio into a tiny package quite like the Polk MagniFi Mini does. This unassuming speaker will fit seamlessly into any setup, and delivers crisp dialog and deep bass with the help of its included wireless subwoofer. Plus, with Google Cast support, the MagniFi Mini doubles as a great home music speaker.

The MagniFi Mini gets loud enough to fill most bedrooms and small apartments, and we found it reliable for getting immersed in movies and TV shows. Factor in a handy remote and an easy setup process, and you've got the best soundbar out there for folks short on space. And at $300, it won't set you back much, either.

Read our full Polk MagniFi Mini review.

Best Bose soundbar

Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar in white placed on a stone floor

(Image credit: Future)
A great Dolby Atmos soundbar with AI-enriched sound

Specifications

Size: 41.1 x 4.2 x 2.3 inches
Inputs/outputs: HDMI eARC; Optical input; Ethernet port; ADAPTiQ port
Dolby Atmos speakers built-in: Yes
Audio channels: 5.1.2
Wireless: Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; AirPlay 2; Chromecast; Spotify Connect
Subwoofer: Available separately
Power output (rated): Not specified
Wall mountable: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Slim and sleek design
+
Nicely balanced sound with most content
+
Automatic room correction
+
Alexa voice assistant built in
+
Dolby Atmos support

Reasons to avoid

-
AI Dialogue can be too harsh
-
Poor bass quality at times
-
Not so great for music

The Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar is the company's flagship model, and uses AI and Dolby Atmos to create immersive-sounding audio. As with the still available Bose Smart Soundbar 900, the newer Ultra also offers multiroom audio, integrated voice assistant and there's even room for expansion via wireless Bose surrounds and a wired subwoofer. It comes in at the same $899 price too, meaning it competes directly with the larger Sonos Arc (above), and uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to create the best sound experience possible for your TV room. 

The Bose is easy to set up and performs particularly well with Dolby Atmos movies, creating a sense of height when called to action. Bass levels felt surprisingly potent with most regular TV dramas, although the addition of a subwoofer will give movie soundtracks a useful further boost. Add-on options such as the Bose Bass Module 700 ($849) and Bose Surround Speakers 700 ($599) are available. Without them, the overdriven bass can muddle the sound, making this a less-than-ideal speaker for music lovers. 

All-in-all, the Bose is well-featured and a good choice for those already signed up to its ecosystem but ultimately is outperformed by the Sonos Arc at the same price.       

Read our full Bose Smart Ultra Soundbar review.

How to choose the best soundbar for you

4 things to consider when buying the best soundbar for you

1. Soundbar size: There are a number of factors that play into deciding which soundbar you should buy. Size will likely be prohibitive for most customers; you obviously need a soundbar that will suit your TV and space constraints within your entertainment console. And, because a soundbar is one of the centerpieces of your home theater setup, it has to look good and fit stylistically.

Then you have to factor in the size of the room you're dealing with, and the distance viewers would typically be sitting from the TV. If you're dealing with a larger space, it's probably best to target soundbars that come with a subwoofer — you'll surely appreciate the extra bass.

2. Dolby Atmos: More and more of the best soundbars are embracing Dolby Atmos, which is a surround sound technology designed to simulate the immersive 3D audio you'd get from a movie theater. The big difference between Atmos and traditional surround sound is that you'll hear sound move up and down and not just side-to-side, allowing you to get extra immersed when, say, a car flies overhead in an action movie. For more a in-depth explanation and to find out how to get it, see Dolby Atmos explained.      

3. Connectivity: Connectivity is crucial too, both in terms of wired and wireless access. Not every soundbar comes with an HDMI port; some force you to make do with optical audio. That's perfectly fine if you want to use your TV as a pass-through, but those who are in dire need of more HDMI ports — because their capacity is limited between game consoles, streaming boxes and so on — will need to prioritize options that offer those additional connections.

4. Pricing considerations: Obviously, price is a big consideration when looking for the best soundbars. Although there are always exceptions, big-name brands will typically command a bit extra, but generally speaking, the less you spend on a soundbar the greater the chance that sound and features will be compromised. Going for a budget option isn't always the best choice, as any money you save on your purchase won't do you much good if the sound quality is poor. 

As the saying goes: timing is everything; and right now there are plenty of sales on with many of our favorite models discounted at online retailers, meaning you can bag a bargain for even less. Bookmark our best tech deals page to keep track of the latest savings.

Frequently asked questions

How to get the best sound from a soundbar?

Getting the best sound from a soundbar isn't tricky, but there are some basic placement factors to get right. Along with guidance provided in the maker's set-up instructions, the shape of the soundbar itself should offer some clues as to how best to position it in your room.

As with all speakers, the first thing to remember is that they need space to do their job, particularly if your soundbar has upward or side-firing drivers as can often be found in models with Dolby Atmos support. It's not a good idea to place a soundbar behind a TV or in line with any other objects as this will have an impact on how effectively the speakers are able project sound to your seating area. Also, if you place a soundbar too far inside a TV cabinet, it won't project sound out to your sofa as effectively. The TV cabinet enclosure could also have a detrimental effect on the overall quality of the sound.

It's not a good idea to place a soundbar behind a TV.

Generally speaking, a soundbar should ideally be placed centrally with the screen (this helps aesthetically, too) in as much free space as is practical. It can be placed either above or below the TV screen. Many soundbar owners place the soundbar beneath their screen at the foot of the TV stand. This close proximity between sound and screen helps make it feel like the sound and picture are coming from the same location and in sync.

If you're placing a soundbar on top of the TV stand just beneath the screen, be careful to avoid fouling the bottom of the screen and obscuring the lower part of the picture. This may also block signals to the IR sensor from your remote control. If this does happen, a good solution is to raise the TV up slightly or place the soundbar on a lower shelf of the TV stand. If the soundbar does foul the TV's IR sensor, check to see whether it comes with an IR repeater.

Most soundbars are tabletop designs, meaning they can easily be placed on a TV cabinet without taking up too much room. Some soundbars can also be wall mounted, although you'd be wise to check the maker's instructions and consider any structural factors before embarking on wall mounting any soundbar.

Lastly, pay attention to whether your soundbar has any rear bass ports or rear speakers designed to bounce sound off nearby walls behind the TV, say. Ideally these need be kept free from any immediate obstructions that get in the way of speaker's soundwaves, but close enough to any wall structures to allow them to perform effectively.

Always check the maker's guidance for placement advice on your specific soundbar speaker system to make sure you're getting optimal performance and the best sound.

How we test the best soundbars

When testing for inclusion in our best soundbars page, we play a range of media — including movies, music and games — in order to evaluate overall sound quality. We also test any companion software that may come with a soundbar, and factor in how easy it is to set up and use each device.

Other features we consider include a soundbar's inputs, outputs and ability to be wall mounted, all of which determine how well it will work with your home entertainment setup. We also take into account each soundbar's wattage, its supported audio channels and whether it includes a subwoofer — all factors that greatly affect how each speaker will sound in your living room.

Once testing is completed, we rate the best soundbars based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). Products that hit nearly every mark are awarded an Editor's Choice badge.

Find out how we test for more information on our reviewing procedures.

Contributions from: Nick Pino, Simon Lucas, Michael Gowan

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Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.